You just never know about people. Busta Rhymes hit “RapFix Live” yesterday (October 7) and shared that not only did he, Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z attend the same Brooklyn high school, George Westinghouse, he and Jay battled for the lunchroom crown.
The two went head-to-head in rhyme and Jay-Z emerged victorious, handing Busta his first significant loss, the MC admitted.
“One day, somebody came up to me and was like, ’Yo, Hov is in the cafeteria,’ ” Busta Rhymes told MTV News’ Sway during “RapFix Live.” “They weren’t calling him Hov at the time; they were calling him Jay. ’Do you want to step to him on some rhyme sh–?’ So I go. At the time, when we were rhyming, it was speed rap. That was the thing to do. I knew how to freak it, and he knew how to freak it. And at the time, he was so ill, ’cause of the people he was with at the time, Jaz-O and them, it was their thing [that style]. He kind of got the best of the situation. I got to give it up. He was so ill and his arsenal was so long that he had more than what I did. I spit my one rap, and my tank was empty real fast. He came with two or three after that, and I was like, ’Here we go.’ But I gave it my best.”
The two, along with Biggie, eventually went on to bigger things, scoring platinum album sales, big hits and worldwide adoration. But the defeat clearly stuck with Busta Rhymes. Although his style had traces of hip-hop and dancehall (his reggae MC name was Chirpy, yes, you read that right) and he wasn’t primarily an MC at the time, Busta thought Jay-Z’s victory was impressive nonetheless.
“That was probably the fist time that I lost a battle that mattered,” he said. “[Jay-Z] always exemplified greatness as an MC. He was a scientist with it.”